Managing financial decisions are just as important as maintaining your health.  Both require you to be intentional with your time and resources.  Our happiness with our current dollars and fitness can often be tied to who we compare ourselves to.  It’s natural, at the gym or in the office, to be thinking about what we have relative to others.  A better approach that requires practice, is tuning out what others have and focusing on yourself.  How do your daily habits help you make the most of your health and wealth?

There’s no reason to work beyond your physical and financial limits if you don’t have a plan to enjoy what you have.  More is the default answer when you haven’t set time aside to quantify your definition of enough.  More cash, more investments, and more income are like wanting more strength, flexibility, and physical endurance.  It’s important to define what you are working towards before you begin your journey.  Outcomes rarely are controllable, it’s all about inputs.

What are you training for?  What are you investing for?  Preparing for a 10k run, a century bike ride, or big open water swim all require a different approach in training.  The same applies when investing for retirement.  Planning to retire at 58 is different than enjoying what you do and joyfully working until age 70.  Leaving your primary career and starting an encore career, proactively or by choice, requires thinking about your timeline, cash, and investment choices.

Preparation and planning matter, both physically and financially.  Here’s a suggestion on making the most of what you have.

From a health perspective, consider completing an annual checkup this year.  Maybe it’s been some time since you last saw your physician, perhaps you don’t have a regular doctor to visit.  While you’re healthy and don’t need medical care, make an appointment.  Why?  There may be time in the future when you need urgent care or advice from a medical professional.  Having a relationship with someone you can trust before it’s necessary is beyond valuable.

This same theme applies to your financial house.  Taking inventory of your assets and liabilities, including cash reserves is necessary to determine your current financial fitness.  Do you know what it takes each month to invest, save, and spend with your available resources?  Many don’t until they sit down and reflect on where the dollars have flowed the past six months.  You can complete this on your own, but like a physical, it’s easy to put off.  Working with a CFP® professional provides the opportunity to respond to thoughtful questions and build a conversation around what’s important to you.

Benefits of completing an annual physical and financial checkup extend well beyond the initial appointment.  Now, you have a point of reference, a starting point at look back at.  As the years and checkups accumulate, the results of your habits and choices become clearer.  Are you happy with what you see?  Perspective is everything and often directly influences our actions.  What changes are necessary?  How may we be more consistent with our choices?

A medical or financial professional’s advice is more likely to stick if the “patient” is engaged and buys in on what’s important.  Habits become routine when you define your why.  Ultimately who we become is traced back to how we choose to live.  In fear, denial, and scarcity or abundance, happiness, and with purpose?

Taking proactive steps by periodically reviewing your physical and financial wellness will lead to a great life.  There’s no sense investing for tomorrow if you can’t enjoy the results along the way and through retirement.  Making good financial decisions isn’t always easy, nor is actively managing your health.  Completing a checkup each year will allow you to maximize your health and wealth.

Advisory services through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor. Cambridge and Flowerstone Financial are not affiliated.

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